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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English laird family come from? What is the English laird family crest and coat of arms? When did the laird family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the laird family history?


Although the name, laird, appeared in many references, from time to time, the surname was shown with the spellings Laird, Lairde and others.

First found in Berwickshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our laird research. Another 141 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1257, 1296 and are included under the topic Early laird History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early laird Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the laird family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words(7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Gradually becoming disenchanted with life in Ireland many of these uprooted families sailed aboard the armada of sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic. These overcrowded ships often arrived with only 60 to 70% of their original passenger list, many dying of cholera, typhoid, dysentery or small pox. In North America, some of the first immigrants who could be considered kinsmen of the laird family name laird, or who bore a variation of the surname were

laird Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Alexander Laird, who arrived in New Jersey in 1741
  • Samuel Laird, who arrived in Carolina in 1755
  • Christopher Laird settled in Virginia in 1767 with his sons John, Samuel and Mary, and his wife Martha, they eventually moved to Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina
  • Richard T Laird, who landed in Massachusetts in 1783

laird Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Patrick Laird, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1800
  • John Laird, who arrived in South Carolina in 1801
  • Rachl Laird, aged 25, arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1803
  • Mary Laird, aged 24, landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1803
  • Marsisa DeLa Laird, aged 30, landed in New Orleans, La in 1836

laird Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • James Laird, aged 26, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Favourite" in 1815
  • James Laird, aged 26, a labourer, arrived in Saint John NB aboard the ship "Favourite" in 1815
  • Hannah Laird, aged 22, landed in Quebec in 1834

laird Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Robert Laird, Scottish convict from Edinburgh, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Alexander Laird, aged 36, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Navarino"
  • Fanny Laird, aged 22, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Bee"

laird Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • W. Laird arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "James Lister" in 1865
  • James B. Laird, aged 18, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Queen of The Age" in 1874


  • Melvin Robert (Bom) Laird (b. 1922), American politician, U.S. Secretary of Defense (1969-73) and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Peter Alan Laird (b. 1954), American comic book writer and artist, best known for co-creating Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Gerald Lee Laird III (b. 1979), American Major League Baseball catcher for the Detroit Tigers
  • Charlton Grant Laird (1901-1984), American ling Uist, lexicographer, novelist, and essayist
  • Scott Benjamin Laird (b. 1988), English football defender
  • Rick Laird (b. 1941), New Zealand (Irish born) musician, jazz bass player
  • Macgregor Laird (1808-1861), Scottish explorer and pioneer of British trade on the River Niger
  • William Laird (1780-1841), Scottish shipbuilder and developer, founder of what later became the Cammell Laird shipyard
  • Marc James Peter Laird (b. 1986), Scottish footballer
  • David Laird (1833-1914), Canadian politician, Lieutenant Governor of Northwest Territories



  • Laird Family by Edward Forrest Brouhard.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Spero meliora
Motto Translation: I hope for better things.


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  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  3. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  4. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  6. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  9. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  11. ...

The laird Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The laird Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 17 June 2015 at 16:23.

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